Shortly before 1 today Joshua and I headed out to get some lunch and run some errands. (Digression: Kids would learn the value of saving better if passbook savings accounts offered interest that wasn't microscopic.) Yes, I knew there was a Mets game imminent. No, I hadn't forgotten my responsibilities as a chronicler. I figured we'd be home around 2, which would probably mean the bottom of the third or at worst the top of the fourth. The game would be just coming into focus.
I was right about when we'd get home, but wrong about the game. To my amazement it was the top of the sixth — and Tim Redding was pitching a gem.
That second part is no longer quite so amazing, though. Not so long ago, poor Redding endured the indignity of numerous reports that his release was either planned or a foregone conclusion, leaving him in limbo for several days. Shabby treatment, but Redding's been not-too-shabby since returning to the rotation on August 22: He's lowered his ERA from 6.10 to 5.25, without a bad start in the mix.
Granted, a 5.25 ERA is nothing to call Cooperstown about, Redding's win today  was his third of the season, and as predictors go a September tilt between the 2009 Mets and Nats is about as reliable as pawing through goat entrails. But still, Redding was good today. He's very quietly been good for a month.
One of the first plays I saw today was Redding somehow walking John Lannan, who wasn't too bad himself. (That David Wright “double” over Ian Desmond's head was remarkably generous scoring.) Given the zero on the board for the Nats and the insane speed with which the 6th had arrived, I briefly wondered if I'd arrived in the middle of the improbable stalking the impossible. Could Tim Redding be 10 outs away from the Mets' first no-hitter? No, I soon found out, the pestiferous Willie Harris  had led off the fourth with a bunt single. The mere suggestion that doing so violated baseball mores is ridiculous: 1-0 game. Rookie catcher. Fourth inning. But still, it was nice to dream for a second there. If Len Barker can throw a perfect game, who's to say Tim Redding can't throw a no-hitter? 2009's been weird enough — no way will you catch me saying it can't get weirder.
Of course, this does leave something out: Tim Redding throwing a Mets no-hitter would be a good thing. And that does seem to be impossible this year.